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recommendation. We can easily recognise that any item may be good with respect to one quality and bad with respect to another. Foods which are tasty but unhealthful provide a common example. It is also easy to be alert to the fact that a producer is likely to draw the public’s attention to the first property, while the nutritionist will highlight the second. Public health and economic competitiveness thus partly revolve around persuading people to prioritise one quality over another. That still, however, leaves open the difficulty of determining whether in respect of any one

in Qualities of food

, labour market construction and production organisation which combine to create a certain degree of internal coherence. As we will reflect on below, in Challenges to societal effects in global competition 53 contemporary societal institutionalist work there are different degrees of insistence on, or questioning of, the national closure of such logics, and implicitly on the long-controversial concept of ‘coherence’, and how far this implies functionality (Maurice and Sorge, 2000; Rubery, 1992). However, this embeddedness, or process of institutionalised social

in Making work more equal
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A cognitive perspective

generally established for the development of competitive adjustments, as can be seen from the devastating effects that follow the emergence of critical suspicions about the identity of goods (e.g. ‘mad cow’, dioxin and other food scares). In the following sub-sections I examine two aspects of the classic economic approach to quality, the first referring to the technology of consumption and the second to quality labels (or signs) and information intermediaries. The conclusion of that discussion leads to a more global analysis of the process of the creation of quality

in Qualities of food
Theories and evidence

differentiation. In some large companies, two-tier wage scales have come to be introduced for incumbent and newly recruited workers and, although this is illegal, in practice it has resulted in the gradual reduction of salaries for new employees. In some sectors, such as finance, the use of individual incentives is so widespread that it is customary to perform unpaid overtime to meet performance targets for the salary bonus. As for professional markets, traditional recruitment policies have been replaced by more competitive processes in which some applicants end up being

in Making work more equal
The Member States between procedural adaptation and structural revolution

challenges and to be sufficiently complacent about the own performance inside the Union. Imports of apparently more competitive set-ups or procedures are rare. Competitive pressures have apparently only led to de facto harmonised mobilisation by the political market. Each Member State pursues its own way into the Brussels ‘space’. The Union remains as ‘One’ plus ‘Fifteen’ quite different component units – indeed in some cases the observations point to the reconfirmation and restoration of well-known national patterns in the adaptation process. Traditional key actors have

in Fifteen into one?
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and the euro has been significant. The weakness of the euro (and therefore the relative strength of sterling) during 2000–1 made British exports to Europe expensive (but imports have also been cheap – a great help with inflation control). The government was able to do little to counteract this trend, but it has made the competitiveness of British industry an even more pressing problem. Competition policy must conform to European rules. In fact this has speeded the process as controls in Europe have traditionally been tighter than in Britain. European policy has

in Understanding British and European political issues
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Unheard voices and invisible agency

outside the process, receiving the imperatives of global restructuring. For workers this implies that transformations in their everyday lives will follow essentially, necessarily and automatically from new production technologies, the competitive impulses of global markets and the demands of shareholder capitalism. Where agencycentred questions have been raised in the globalisation debate, these have tended to focus upon the decisions and actions of powerful transnational, state or corporate elites. Here the actions, experiences and articulations of workers are simply

in Globalisation contested
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Purchasing, consumption and innovation

9 Greening organisations: purchasing, consumption and innovation Ken Green, Barbara Morton and Steve New In this chapter we examine some previously ignored connections between processes of organisational purchasing and innovation in the context of the greening of organisations. We build an argument around the idea of consumption and we do so to problematise explicitly the issue of collective agency as it relates to organisations. In developing the argument, we ask: who is the consumer and what do consumers do? Despite the thriving field of research in

in Innovation by demand
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. It is critical of the ‘globalist’ representations of transformation as an imperativedriven and inexorable process. For people in their everyday lives, there is perhaps no sphere of social life so consistently bombarded with globalist accounts as that of production and work. For states, such a reading reinforces the imperative of a policy agenda that creates a competitive and capitalfriendly environment for MNCs. Firms are cast as the primary agents of global change as they restructure towards the ultimately ‘lean’ and ‘flexible’ organisation. The combined

in Globalisation contested

) economic areas seek competitive advantage through the realisation of such added value. The environmental and cultural aspects of food production have been partially integrated into this notion of food quality also, as the CAP reform process indicates. The public health consequences of nutrition and diet are beginning to be addressed in a cautious fashion in the UK, and there are signs of policy movement on an area that has lacked any clear strategic vision in the recent past (Lang and Rayner 2003). The picture on nutrition and diet remains somewhat fragmented at the EU

in Qualities of food